WERU News Report 2/4/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer/Reporter: John Greenman

Interactive news report covering issues with a local connection and taking calls. Today: When you’re wading through it, the forest of “rockweed” seaweed on Maine’s coast can seem endless, but marine scientists fear that unless commercial harvesting is done responsibly, this vital part of the ecosystem could be in serious danger. Why is it being harvested? Won’t it just grow back? What animal species rely on rockweed for food or habitat? And what is the state of Maine doing to protect it? These are timely issues as the Department of Marine Resources is holding meetings to gather information and determine what steps should be taken.
Guests: Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, a 7th generation Mainer, marine ecologist based at Cornell University. She’s a resident of Pembroke, co-founder of the Rockweed Coalition, and has been documenting and reviewing the impacts of rockweed harvests in Maine and elsewhere. She is also researching the impacts of climate change on invasive crab species, and Beth Goettel, is the Manager for Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuges with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.